Making Amends and Personal Pronouns

Making Amends and Reordering Pronouns

Who knew reordering personal pronouns could help me make amends? Reordering the pronouns in the opening sentence of my amends might make a world of difference in healing and restoring what I broke.

Making Amends by Reordering Pronouns

One of the double-edged blessings of meetings that rely on AA literature is seeing what I could have done better.  It smarts.

But making progress in my recovery means bursting my silly pride-filled bubbles – daily.

Here’s where listening to and reading what others have found worked keeps me leaning on the God of my understanding who doesn’t keep a score card. (Hebrews 8:12)

Saying to someone I hurt when I was drinking, I wasn’t the person you’d hope I’d be; please forgive me, was a lousy amends. (Note the order of the pronouns?)

I know that now.

Thirty-odd years ago, I thought that was a stellar start to making an amend. However, making this amend was more about me feeling justified than seeking the best for the person I’d harmed.

I have heard others admit skipping over steps, rushing through them wasn’t wise.  That’s why sometimes their amends blew up and ended badly – like mine did.

Working the steps with a blind spot like me, myself, and Ismack in the middle of all my thoughts meant I was not changing much. ( Luke 6:41)

Given my history, I could legitimately assign some blame to people who harmed me. . . but I was always free to make many choices to escape hard situations. Too often, I chose my buddy alcohol that promised a bright future.

To this day, I have to watch excusing myself at other’s expense!

Had I talked more honestly with my sponsor; had I prayed, oh for even a minute, I might have heard my conscience ask me a few questions. But I wanted the pain of realizing the harm I’d done others to be over.


Harboring resentments may mean I overlooked something on my inventory.  Then, when I arrive at Step Nine, I can use what I heard what someone suggested to open a difficult conversation:

You did not deserve what I did.

Note the order of the pronouns.

Sometimes making changes, that is making amends, is just rethinking where I place personal pronouns in an opening sentence.

Making amends is not buying me peace at the expense of others. (Step Nine, the  12&12, page 83)

Let’s Quit Blaming What None of Us Can Change
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Making Amends and Personal Pronouns
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